French Open final: Sara versus Sharapova; if Sara wins she will be only the second Italian woman to win at Roland Garros

Italy's Sara Errani reached her first ever Grand Slam final with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 win over Samantha Stosur at Roland Garros on Thursday. Maria Sharapova defeated Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 in the other semifinal — and, in the process, assured herself of the World No.1 ranking, says a report in The Hindu.

Later, in the mixed doubles final, seventh seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza defeated Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Santiago Gonzalez 7-6(3), 6-1. The unseeded Polish-Mexican combination had, on Wednesday, upset fifth seeds Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina 7-6(2), 6-3 in the semi-finals.
This is Bhupathi's and Sania's second Grand Slam title together; they had won the Australian Open in 2009.

If Errani triumphs on Saturday, she will be only the second Italian woman to win at Roland Garros — two years after Francesca Schiavone's breakthrough triumph, and the first player ranked outside the top-20 to win in Paris since 1976, says the Hindu report.

According to The Indian Express, the stakes could hardly be higher for Sharapova, who is already assured of regaining the world number one spot she last held in 2008 before a shoulder injury nearly wrecked her career.

The 2004 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open champion, will become just the 10th woman to complete a career Grand Slam if she takes Saturday's final, her first at Roland Garros.
Errani, who was not rated among the favourites for the title coming into Paris despite winning three claycourt build-up tournaments, will be playing in her first Grand Slam final. A win would make her just the second Italian woman to win the French Open title after Francesca Schiavone two years ago.

Sharapova will start as a strong favourite and if she can reproduce the kind of form she showed against Wimbledon champion Kvitova, Errani could struggle to counter her power.

Sharapova, at an imposing 1.88m, and Kvitova, just 5cm shorter, both struggled for accuracy in the testing conditions on Philippe Chatrier court, where the wind whipped up the clay and helped balls sail out.

But it was Sharapova who quickly adapted her game, not hitting for the lines as is her strength and the tactic paid off.